It’s been a really long time since I’ve prepared meatballs. I definitely haven’t done it since I’ve lived in my current apartment, and I can’t even remember if I had made them at my last residence, where I spent over 7 years.
When I make mine, I use a fairly standard approximate recipe, and have some places where I modify.
Generally, I use all beef, whatever I’d use to make a burger. Occasionally, I’ll add in a little pork or maybe go for the “meatloaf mix” (beef, pork, veal), but I don’t mind an all beef meatball, especially when using something like chuck, which has just enough fat to keep them from drying out (as long as you don’t overcook them).
To one pound of meat, I add 1 egg, 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated cheese, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, 3 medium cloves of garlic (minced), salt, and some pepper. Sometimes, I throw in some crushed red pepper, other times Worcestershire sauce. Usually, though, I keep it basic.
I use my fingertips to work the ingredients into the meat, taking care to not overdo it, then I separate the meat and roll them out. I shoot for 8 meatballs to 1 pound of meat.
This time, I coated them in olive oil and roasted them in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes. Other times, I’ll fry them in a pan that has enough olive oil to come half way up each one. I cook mine to either rare or medium rare (medium rare if I want to sneak one or two before adding to the sauce), then finish them in tomato sauce. When I say finish in sauce, I allow them to rest for about five minutes, then I add them to the sauce with the heat off and let them sit in the sauce for about 5 minutes before serving. There are other ways to do this, but this is the way I do; it ensures that they won’t become dry and tough.
For these, I diced them up and used them as a filling for lasagna along with some roasted Italian sausage and some cheeses.
All I need is a piece of Italian bread, and I’m good to go for a quick snack!